Digitization and Automation are changing the way in which companies operate and interact with their customers. Across all industries customer expectations are paramount and the pace in which every organization can adapt to these expectations defines their success or failure. Through the use of analytics, machine learning and automation an IT infrastructure leveraging Intent-based networking can help any organization to quickly adapt to their evolving business requirements.
However, it is necessary to simplify the management and operation of the different parts of the networking infrastructure in order to attain all these benefits. A software-defined wide area network or SD-WAN achieves this objective by decoupling the control backplane and the hardware, making it easier to implement changes based on business demands. It is estimated that within the next five years over 90 percent of every new wide area network will be based on some form of software-defined architecture.
It is critical for our partners to be able to provide a proof-of-value (POV) to their customers when an SD-WAN project is initiated. Sometimes it might be challenging for some of our partners to deploy a new project due to many factors, including limited engineering resources, lab facilities or simply not having done it before. SD-WAN projects are still relatively new in the adoption lifecycle, so customer alignment and knowledge transfer are really important.
In my previous blog I talked about the different partner scenarios when a new Cisco DNA Center is deployed and how our Customer Experience organization is working really hard in providing partners with the necessary mentoring and delivering options to be successful. Now, I would like to make you aware of the new Mentored Installed Networking Training (MINT) for SD-WAN which include different deployment use cases.
Partners can receive help and mentoring during the SD-WAN configuration, cut-over and connectivity testing. The mentored install also includes the activation of the centralized and local edge policies, the validation of the control data plane connections and the configuration from the network management system platform to the edge devices.
Just like with Cisco DNA Center, we also have similar service delivery options beyond the mentored installs. Sometimes partners just need help scaling and a Quick Start might be the ideal solution. Quick Starts are collaborative delivery services with expert guidance that provide prescriptive advice, best practices and experts at every stage of a customer’s intent-based networking journey.
All of Cisco’s services offers are designed with our partners in mind, always looking for ways to collaborate and support them in expanding their own technology practices, improve their capabilities and provide them with the best in class service delivery options.
A Quick Start’s predefined scope implementation provides the fastest way to test the value of Cisco SD-WAN and it also reduces risks and costs by using best practices, proven processes and innovative tools. After the initial deployment, a Secure Automated SD-WAN Quick Start accelerates adoption, simplifies operations and provides expert guidance.
Quick Start Deliverables
- Solution Design Document.
- Basic knowledge transfer to efficiently operate Cisco SD-WAN.
Quick Start Outcomes
- Implemented a limited scope Secure Automated SD-WAN.
- Basic SD-WAN functionality for one data center and two branch locations.
- Trial Cisco SD-WAN before broad roll out.
What I have described so far are two different service delivery options our partners can leverage to deploy a new SD-WAN for their customers. Sometimes partners might also need help managing and operating an existing deployment. In order to address this need, we also have the Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Program (CMSP). With this program, you can take your SD-WAN capabilities to a new level by leveraging the management of the infrastructure to provide advanced branch security monitoring and enforcement. An important characteristic of this program is that as a partner you can provide your customer with flexible monitoring and management to support evolving security and compliance scenarios for different threats and vulnerabilities.
As you can see the opportunity for Cisco partners to successfully position and deploy Secure SD-WAN projects across all customers is here and now. SD-WAN is less complex to manage, offers real operational benefits and an improved user experience.
To learn more about Cisco’s Services please visit the Cisco Customer Experience website at http://www.cisco.com/go/cx
For more information about how our Partners can make the most out of these technologies please check out our Partner Success Guide.